Every new major release of OS X is a day or week spent disabling things, shutting down Spotlight again, trying to restore things back to the way they were instead of the way some Designer with a capital D thinks they should be, for no other reason than, "Beauty."
I just dread the idea of moving to Linux again. I don't want to tinker that much. But I am worried sick that OS X is dying, in the sense that it's becoming a platform to deliver people to Apple's (and partners') cloud services and sharing services and that's it. Screw all of that.
One major shot across the bow was the loss of "Save As..." and the change to "Duplicate". WTF, Apple? I now have to do 10 extra steps just to Save As.
It feels like Apple is abandoning its longtime users, the master users, the users who've climbed the pyramid, who've achieved a lot of game levels. It's just going after that huge base of newbies and midlevel people who don't notice or complain about all the changes that really, truly are not improvements. They're just changes. That's the problem in a nutshell: OS X changes because there's new management that wants to put its stamp on things, regardless of whether it improves the productivity of the user or not.
Once the developers move, the users pretty much have to. I have an iMac from 2009. I had two OS's on it. Windows 7? Everything still works there. Runs fast, new software is great, etc. OSX 10.6.8? DEAD. It's basically useless. I guess it's nice that apple offers free upgrades, except that they mysteriously make a system that used to be lightning fast extremely slow, even though other OS's seem to run just fine..
It works perfectly. I have zero complaints or issues. It's no problem at all.
I use chrome and terminal for most of my work, but I do run itunes and vmware fusion and run some apps that give me a tiled interface and focus-follows-mouse.
No problems at all. I couldn't be happier.
I am sure it would all go to hell if I got a current model and tried to run SL on it ...
It's slightly worse (I don't like mission control, messages is useless to me) but not as bad as Lion (i.e. you'll just need to disable the stupid scroll behaviour, but performance is good).
On the plus side, you get the option to use new software developed for "10.7+" (heroku's db client, atom editor, swift etc)
I resisted updating 10.4 for years; IMO that was the high water mark for OS X, everything has basically been downhill from there. If I could still run 10.4 plus bugfixes and security updates, with modern software, I would.
But that's not possible. They push out new versions of the OS, along with new versions of development tools, which produce software that's not backwards-compatible past a certain point, such that eventually you can't run new software without installing major (0.1) updates. Apple's own products are the worst for this, but eventually you lose 3rd party apps as well.
Even if you resist the demands of new software, you'll eventually get forced to upgrade via hardware. Each generation of Apple hardware has a minimum OS version, keeping you from going back too far. For instance, Mac Pro "quad core" and 8-core systems won't run OS 10.4; Nehalem-based machines won't run 10.6. And Apple has purposely killed off its compatibility layers, dropping first the Classic environment and more recently Rosetta, in order to introduce barriers to running old software.
It's pretty frustrating as a user.
But as for "why update" - up until 10.6, there were performance improvements as well as useful features (subjective -I know- fine).
As for "why update nowadays" - well, 10.6 isn't really supported nowadays. (cough Java 7 cough)
Apple stopped maintaining Java at version 6.
My best guess is that programmers build with the latest libraries, and the latest libraries require the latest OS version. If the dev is running on the latest version, it never crosses his mind to do otherwise.
But there were just too many pieces of software that wouldn't run, and unpatched security holes didn't seem like a good idea either.
To add insult to injury, Apple doesn't allow you to virtualize non-server versions of 10.6. You can, thankfully, hack VMWare Workstation and keep running your previous machine's image that way, but it's shitty that you have to jump through those hoops. It seems geared specifically towards keeping people from continuing to use their old apps.
New and/or updated frameworks/APIs  make the developer's job easier. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of them?
EDIT: Windows 7 was released in 2009 and is still receiving security updates. 10.6 was released in 2011 and has been EOL'd. Seeing as both people still want to use these products, but one group is being forced not to, that's why I'm saying OS X is taking a less sane stance than Windows.
Is this false?
Multi-monitor full-screen was broken from 10.7 through 10.8. Thousands complained, Apple claimed it a feature.
Not fixable, not tweakable, not reversible. 10.6 or one full-screen monitor at a time.
Fuck off, Apple.
Full screen in 10.7 and 10.8 did render secondary displays useless. But it was a new feature in 10.7, so there was nothing to reverse. You can't take Safari, Mail, etc. full screen in 10.6.
Perhaps there was an app you used that switched from a custom full screen implementation to the system one, and so regressed on secondary displays?
The thing to reverse would have been the "switch to new workspace when full-screening" - or at the very least make it optional. Certainly not respond "that's a feature" and close as "working as expected" when thousands complain.
I failed to see the value in that feature even with a single screen. An action that used to happen instantaneously now took 1-2s. and a dizzying sliding animation. (Many a flow was lost to toggling full-screen by accident - whereas previously you could toggle/toggle back immediately without losing your mental state - surely you appreciate that as a developer?).
Full screen was an effort to make OS X more usable on small displays - recall that the 11" MacBook Air had just shipped. It didn't make much sense for media playback apps to adopt the system full screen mode, especially as it was in 10.7-8.
I would have loved to enable a system mode where full screen windows could coexist in the same workspace as unrelated windows, but this would have been a new feature, not something we could have achieved by reversing anything. And eventually Apple did enable a new mode, which was what shipped in 10.9.
Oh, and if you filed a bug, then whoever closed it as "working as expected" made a mistake. There was a (heavily duped) bug tracking the uselessness of secondary displays in FS, and it was closed when 10.9 shipped. I may even have been the one to close it, I don't remember.
This doesn't make much sense, does it? Obviously apps adopt the system implementation. The problem the OP is talking about is that the system implementation became pretty weird, broke some apps that used to work just fine (especially lots of xquartz ones), and thought that the best use for your extra monitors was to just display a dark gray pattern.
Personally, I learned to live with it (sigh, uncheck "displays have separate spaces"), but it does seem like a good example of Apple shoving a half-baked idea out the door.
I can't specifically recall, but I think the same was true of full screening video content from Safari (perhaps technically a "plugin feature", but maybe html5 video was around?), but QuickTime was 100% an apple regression.
Log off, user.
So I did the latter :)
It worked exactly the same as before only Apple added full screen mode which didnt work in an ideal way. But guess what you don't have to use it. Just maximise your windows normally or use one of the many free tools to do it via keystrokes.
But yeh fuck Apple for offering free OS upgrades that are completely optional.
The updates are free.
> Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013.
Seeing as OS X service packs also come out very frequently, whereas Windows are very rare, I'm not sure the two are comparable.
I should probably bow out now. I just thought it was interesting.
Wikipedia says 10.6 was released August 28, 2009.
But the Yosemite upgrade on laptop brought back my memories of initial Ubuntu distributions. I had disable few setting to get some performance. I had to change few UI setting to get a decent look. It looks a transition phase OS.But ubuntu on that m/c had few touch pad issues otherwise it would have been the default OS for me on the laptop.
It is...until it isn't. Nine out of ten Ubuntu or Mint installs will go off without a hitch, with no weird issues or regressions, and a warm, friendly, comfortable development environment welcomes you. Then there's that one time you install it on your laptop so you have a to-go environment that matches your workstation, and BOOM! your wifi isn't recognized (what year is it again??) or your sound card sputters (damn you PulseAudio!), or your hybrid graphics screws the pooch. Hell, I built this workstation I'm typing on with GNU/Linux and BSD compatibility first in my mind, and I still had issues with some hardware right off the bat. Nothing that can't be fixed with some fiddling, but it's annoying as hell.
Yes, all of the above issues can be fixed, just like the issues you dealt with in OS X. It's a computer, after all; Garbage In (Apple/Linux/BSD developers), Garbage Out. And don't get me started on Windows 8.x; it's finally becoming usable daily, but there are a million reasons I chose to stick with 7 for Windows-specific work, and wait it out until 10 ships.
Apple broke the cardinal rule: If it isn't broken, stop fixing it! They want to innovate and improve and conquer the world, fine; but they need to remember that they had the best OS X release with Snow Leopard (and in my personal opinion, that was the best desktop OS period). In their rush to wow the masses, they broke their OS for those of us who use it to be productive and creative.
At this stage, I feel that a good old fashioned, stable OS like FreeBSD or Slackware Linux or Debian is the best choice for a solid 'nix workstation, something you can get real work done on. But ever since Lion was released, I would rather use Windows Vista on a Core Solo machine than OS X on any Mac.
> Nine out of ten Ubuntu or Mint installs will go off without a hitch
Even when the installs go off without a hitch, there are always lingering pain in the ass problems and they're all related to buggy drivers, bad UI tools and dependency hell. Every time I think about making my own distro, I come back to those three big problems and think: the last two are fixable. The drivers... not so much.
My Macbook pro Ubuntu installation went without any problems. Touch pad mouse clicks weren't as exact as OS X. I am used to it hence was not able to use Ubuntu. Maybe i should tinker a bit.
And on a completely different note, I have a Dell Latitude laptop from around 2000 or so, a Pentium III machine, that has no built in networking unless you count the dial-up modem. I picked up a random CardBus wifi card for $5, and OpenBSD recognized and configured it flawlessly.
It really all comes down to whether the OS developers have access to the hardware the rest of us use. If, for example, your wifi doesn't work, it's not likely to until enough bug reports are submitted that the kernel hackers responsible for wifi drivers get their hands on the hardware and write or improve a driver. It's the same for those trackpad issues you had; someone somewhere has to debug that.
This is why it's a good idea to research your hardware if you intend to run anything other than Windows or OS X. And even with research, it's rarely 100% working out of the box. That's the tradeoff for having what (in my opinion) is a very productive and comfortable working environment.
Huh? And I am not saying that they don't have problems.
My point being, even a kludgy setup like that was more tolerable than OS X 10.7 and up (again, hyperbole, but close enough to the truth in my case).
If you want more specific than that, you'll have to find someone who has spent more time than I have on those OS releases. I've tried each one and have yet to see anything better than Snow Leopard; if you don't like that answer, too bad. I'm done.
I've been on archlinux, on testing, for christ sake, and it's been at least a year since I had an issue of any kind.
Debian was also fine by me, but the software was too old on stable; I did have installation issues with it, however, on other peoples laptops.
Either way, it was an easy fix for Slackware and the other half dozen distros I've tried on this machine, and I've found generally that Slackware is the best fit for someone who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty occasionally, in exchange for stability and lack of dependency issues.
So then I tried Ubuntu, thinking that would be the "easy" distro. It installed alright, but the nVidia card was still giving me trouble and the official Ubuntu nVidia packages weren't new enough (it's a GTX 860M). So I added a PPA with a newer version of the driver and that seemed to get it working at least, but I still had massive screen tearing issues, and for some reason the nVidia settings app had far fewer settings than the Windows version I have on the other partition, and it didn't even have an option to enable vsync, which should resolve the tearing. After trawling through mountains of nVidia documentation and forum posts, including, no joke, the EBNF for their config file, I still can't get the damn thing to work.
I'd like to have a real shell and be able to play games without rebooting, but the polish on desktop Linux still isn't quite there yet. And yes, I know this particular problem isn't the fault of Linux or any of the other software in Ubuntu, but it's a problem with the ecosystem and it's one that's preventing me from using Linux as much as I'd like to right now.
Big, wrong ideas are destructive, and the two biggest, wrongest ones right now seem to be: "desktops are just out-of-date tablets", and "the only good affordance is a dead affordance".
Affordances are what make computers humane, and there's a world of difference between how phones are used (mostly social), tablets are used (mostly media consumption), and how desktops are used (mostly productivity).
The visionaries in charge of all three of Windows/OSX/Linux are of similar mind about the "big ideas", and it's caused a lot of grief for productive people.
You might want to look at KDE and XFCE though - both are sticking more to traditional Linux desktop ideas than Gnome and Unity.
And agreed on your second point, using XFCE right now.
I'm with you on moving back to Linux, having sufficient experience with both I'm loathe to move back for both hardware and software envrionment frustrations. I do have hope that things will get better on that side of the fence, but OSX would have to become pretty terrible for me to do that anytime soon (though they seem to really be pushing their luck lately).
I have a new OS X MBP. 16 GB RAM, NVIDIA Something (650?), SSD, Yosemite, i7. I have an older i7 Sager, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia 550m, HDD.
The Sager for years has been a terrible computer due to the WIFI support. It was crappy in Windows and worse in Linux. I actually looked forward to getting the MBP. Recently, however, I found a guy's opensource driver for the RealTek WIFI. This is more stable than the actual official driver. His blog post was great about how to install it. Now I've got two computer to compare.
OSX is apparently terrible at memory management. Running Eclipse and like 10 tabs in FF can cause the system to swap. On the SSD I loath the very concept. Some of my comments on HN about Light Table stem from the fact that LT uses .5 GB of memory when everything is said and done (node helpers, etc). LT on OS X ran great, but OS X would swap. Running multiple VirtualBox instances made it worse. I tend to run about 260-350 MB of swap if not more for a few small programs.
Cut to Ubuntu. Once I got use to Unity I liked Ubuntu. The OS is smooth, use-able and well-supported both at a community level and from a system update perspective. I can run a 2 GB Arango VM, and 3 Hadoop VMs at once all nicely networked to each other via host-only. FF with the same 10-ish tabs running with lein REPL and Counterclockwise (Eclipse IDE for Clojure) and still only use 76 KB of swap.
Now aside from following a few steps about getting the WIFI to work, I've not really done much Ubuntu customization. I haven't had to. I installed it, it worked, I worked.
OS X had some nice ideas, but, IMHO, Linux caught up. The terminals available with Linux are better than the default terminal with OS X. They are more memory efficient than Console 2. Unity works well. I actually have muscle memory trying to work with OS X as I do Unity.
I will grant that the OS X laptop is light years ahead of my Linux box's battery. Even when the battery was new, the Linux laptop was lucky to get 2.5 hours. The OS X laptop gets 5 hrs or so under my daily load.
Interestingly, the only laptop of the 5 or so I've owned to have a dead pixel is the MBP. Under white backgrounds it's easy to miss. On dark backgrounds I'm annoyed.
I feel your pain. Fortunately you can have Save As back: System Preferences -> Keyboards -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts. Add a shortcut called "Save As..." with Command-Shift-S. Magically, Duplicate is gone.
I'm not an OS X user, but that's a solid observation, that at least partly accounts for the issues, based on my experience of other OS's and software. I've seen the same happen, from the inside, in large companies where I've worked, and also, from the outside, a lot, as a user of various software packages and OS's, that seems to be the case, many times. Of course there are other reasons too.
I was just talking to a non-tech  friend yesterday who was complaining about the OS problems he was having (Ubuntu, in his case), and who said, essentially, that things are too difficult - upgrades screwing things up, etc. etc. My reply to him: the state of the art in software (in general) is still below what it should be - or words to that effect.
 Of course, part of the reason for his problems is that he is not tech-savvy (though he actually is more so than the average layman), but that raises the question of why software in general cannot be more user-friendly and easier to use. Difficult question, I know, since the field is so complex, and compounded by the existence of so many different versions of hardware, operating systems, and applications, all (mis)interacting with each other. Reminds me of my erstwhile system engineer days: customer has a problem (in a specific app situation) with this model of that computer that we sell and support? check the OS version: is it Ver. x.y.z? ah, that's not compatible with BIOS (or motherboard) Ver. a.b.c - only when using that particular RDBMS / compiler / whatever; upgrade the BIOS (or motherboard or OS or problematic software) to Ver. p.q.r ...... :) (which point was sometimes learnt after system / hardware engineers had spent a lot of time trying to solve the problem on their own, before escalating it to head office)
It was good fun and learning, but frustrating too at times, and must have been for some customers too ...
Also, it's easier to "turn features off" in Windows than OSX these days. I'm sad about it though. But after 14 years on Mac I'm done. It was the upgrade to 10.10 that finally pissed me off enough to leave.
By the way, anyone know of a good terminal app for Windows? Not too crazy about Powershell. I have been using Git Bash and that's decent so far.
Reading your expectations and gripes, I'd say try http://bliker.github.io/cmder/ , the goodness of clink bundled with ConEmu and a sexy Monokai theme.
By the way, a great site for finding apps in specific genres is alternativeto.net. Here's a list of alternatives to iTunes:
But I have used it for 10 years and it's the only reason I still have Windows machines in my house. It's that good.
* It has no idea about Windows file system conventions. IIRC, the default install directory is "C:\Cygwin".
* The "default" install is super bare-bones, and missing a lot of pretty basic Unix utils. This would be a minor complaint, except:
* The installer--the bit that you download--is also the package manager. This means that if you install it and then delete the installer like a responsible, space-conserving user, then the first time you realize that you don't have, I dunno, rsync, you have to download the installer again. And then, unless you having to manually navigate to your Downloads folder every time you want to install a damn package, you have to find a place for it to live on your drive and set up a start-menu shortcut for it. These things are why we invented installers, so why doesn't the installer do them?
* And, as you may have guessed from that last bit, there is no way to install packages from within the Cygwin terminal. In fact, you have to close all open terminals every time you want to run the package manager. You can imagine how much fun that is. The excuse for this is "such a program would need full access to all of Cygwin's POSIX functionality. That is, however, difficult to provide in a Cygwin-free environment, such as exists on first installation." In other words, they can't provide a proper package manager because then they couldn't make the installer and the package manager the same program which they shouldn't be fucking doing anyway.
* Every time you run the installer/package manager, you have to click "Okay" seven times (yes, I counted) to confirm a load of options that you will almost certainly never change after first install.
This ran way longer than I intended. Apparently I am fussed. :-/ The thing that really gets me is that this isn't even a case of Unix grognards not knowing or caring about Windows standards. There is no modern OS where installing an application off of the root directory is acceptable. I don't get it.
The package management is indeed a mass. The install.exe should literally install ONLY the barebones system plus some kind of terminal app, like Putty (because CMD is a pain to use), and then open the terminal to continue installation from there.
The installer being the package manager threw me when I first started using Cygwin. However, when I researched the issue, I can see how the choice made sense. Unlike a Linux system, you can't upgrade the Cygwin DLL in-place while it's running.
apt-cyg  is a nice simple bash script for managing Cygwin packages. I find very useful for avoiding the GUI installer when I just need to add or remove a few packages. For software that doesn't require an upgrade of the Cygwin DLL, they can be installed / removed from inside Cygwin itself.
And no, I don't use Cygwin to "escape" Windows. Windows is a perfectly functional GUI for casual daily use. I use Cygwin because it provides useful tools and utilities that aren't available in Windows.
It supports UTF8, 256 colours; copy-pasting is simple and easy. I suppose the only mainstream feature it's lacking is tabs -- but that doesn't bother me.
To be fair, I'm a .NET dev who has to do this in most Windows releases as well. It's a part of the customization of the OS. They don't tailor it to devs, they tailor it to normal users.
Is the RAM still limited to 4GB on these as well? That is what killed the idea of the Pixel for me.
Not exactly "stomping a mudhole" is it?
Battery life is 5-6hrs compared to Apple's "up to 8 hrs" for the MBP 15. That's amazing considering Razer runs a 1344 core GPU. What does a pitiful MacBook Pro have? Integrated graphics. Hahaha. And for the highest end MBP they have? A puny 750m. I'm sure you won't get 8hrs with that one. Compare the two on any graphics benchmark. There's the mudhole I mentioned. 870m is 2x faster than a 750m.
The Razer also delivers a higher res touch screen. The Razer is thinner. It's also black and green which IMO looks much better than those boring silver MBPs.
And heavier than a MBP you say?
Razer wins again. Seems you don't know what you're talking about fanboi. Face it, Razer makes the nicest laptop you can buy anywhere. Period.
Nice job trying to use the specs page for the outdated non-Retina MacBook that nobody buys. Here's the real specs page: https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs-retina/
13" MacBook is 1.57kg, 15" MacBook is 2.02kg. Razer is heaver than both.
And nice job ignoring the processor, RAM, storage, and the overheating, "fanboi".
You've never even seen one, have you? Razer is aluminum too.
>Nice job trying to use the specs page for the outdated non-Retina MacBook
Must be all Apple's gadget spam confusing me. That was the first result returned by Google for "MacBook Pro Specs". If you want to quible over 0.01Kg, then take a look at that 0.01 inches in thickness while you're at it. Oh gosh, that MacBook is just TOO THICK to use!! roll eyes
>And nice job ignoring the processor,
On noes! Apple's newer hardware has an extra 300 Megahertz cpu on the top of the line MBP vs the Razer. I know, Razer can break out the MHz Myth! Yay MHM!
Oh, sorry, I forgot. MHM only applies if Apple has the lower clock speed. I must have stepped out of the Reality Distortion Field for a moment.
LOL. Let's talk about RAM on the iPhone shall we? Oh, RAM isn't an issue on the iPhone because <blah blah blah>. I'll use that same excuse then ;)
Razer available with 512GB of storage. MBP available with 512GB of storage. What's your point again? Oh, I see. You can overpay for 1TB by spending an extra $500 as a BTO option. Good for you. I'm sure you're proud of that.
Ever heard of an external drive? They're pretty neat. You can hold big files on them, but you aren't punished by carrying around all the weight of a bigger main drive all the time. You might want to check into that. They're pretty nifty for the obviously 0.01Kg weight conscious traveler that you are.
>and the overheating
LOL. Glass houses man
At least the Razer team was smart enough to direct heat to a no touch zone above the keyboard. Look at that. The heat is all up in the keyboard on the MBP. What a shame. Your fingers must be cooking as you type your responses.
In the meantime, Apple's still low res. Apple's still lower pixel density. Apple's still missing a touch screen. Apple still has a missing or crippled GPU. In hardware that really counts, Razer comes out on top in a big way. But yeah, you're 10grams lighter on system weight, so you win. lol
Overall, Linux is great these days if you have compatible hardware. A random Windows laptop might be a problem, but a Thinkpad or a System76 or such should all be fine.
One thing I'd like to say when looking at Thinkpads, or other laptops, for running Linux on, don't get one with hybrid graphics. My experience in trying to deal with it was a huge pain.
Maybe my problem was in going for the W-series. The older T-series laptops I've installed and used Linux on were great.
But I guess it was just luck of the draw - YMMV.
I've read (almost exclusively) bad things about the keyboard and overall plastic-ity of them.
Another model got a lot of complaints about the keyboard a year or two ago, and System76 responded by sending everyone a better one for free.
If you don't use Unity and instead use a different environment like KDE, Ubuntu is actually a great system that requires minimal tweaking.
That said, I intentionally purchase hardware that's known to work well with Linux (if you buy a system with all Intel chipsets, you'll probably be fine). Also, the power management is still abysmal. I still have to tinker with powertop to get battery life comparable to other OS's.
That said, for my money you can't beat Mint with Xfce for a quick and easy casual GNU/Linux box. I always skip Xfce's compositor and install Compton for tear-free window dragging and video watching (Nvidia-specific issue I believe), but otherwise the default install is very good.
The thing about Linux is that once you've tinkered, things stay the way you are.
Copy over your home folder to your next distro and just about everything goes back to the way it was. When I wiped xUbuntu 14.04 and installed the 15.04 alpha, I didn't have to do anything to get XFCE back the way I wanted after I copied the contents of my home folder over and gave it a reboot.
This is far, far more friendly than what OSX forces you to go through after each and every update.
Honestly. Fuck Unity and Gnome.
Until they don't – I supported Linux desktop users for years and, even ignoring fun with the occasional kernel/driver update rendering systems unbootable or breaking sound/video, every so often I had to troubleshoot something which turned out to be caused by a backwards-incompatible change. It turns out that Linux developers are just like developers for every other platform and make mistakes or intentional changes for things they no longer wish to support.
> This is far, far more friendly than what OSX forces you to go through after each and every update.
My experience with every release since 10.0.0: install, reboot, go back to work. The thing to remember for every platform is that you hear about complaints from the small percentage of people who encounter something unusual because relatively few people spend months camped out on forums to remind everyone that an update didn't break anything.
Insofar as Cheese == Wi-Fi connection, I couldn't agree more.
This isn't just "WHY IS THIS 10px LEFT TO WHERE IT WAS ARGH THIS SUX0RZ" - really basic things were broken, such as multi-monitor full-screen. Also, multi-core machines actually benefited (performance-wise) from upgrading up until 10.6. Not so after Lion.
It's easy to blame the users for being change-averse, but... was I really meant to stop using 'full-screen'? "Just resize it from that little corner there?"? Please.
I think there's a market for a linux distro that targets a limited set of premium hardware. I'd gladly pay money for an OS that worked out of the box on any MacBook or Surface Pro made in the past two years.
Edit: Many people are replying with brands that work for them. I'm glad they've been lucky enough to avoid problems, but I am making a different point. On Macs, OS X is practically guaranteed to work out of the box. Wifi, bluetooth, trackpad, screen brightness, power management, hardware graphics acceleration, resume from suspend/hibernate, etc Just Works™. On Apple's hardware, users never have to worry about kernel flags or special drivers. The same is not true for any combination of laptop brand and linux distro. I truly wish it were otherwise.
This attitude created the insane expectation that Ubuntu (or whatever) should run on any machine that previously ran Windows. That is a (hopelessly) tall order to fill, especially considering that new versions of Windows itself won't always run on machines that previously ran an older version of Windows.
We, as a community, mistakenly emphasized the sheer number of installs over the quality of those installs and the happiness of their users. The best way to market GNU/Linux, in my opinion, is to show someone a fully compatible, fully working machine that "Just Work[ed]" out of the box and explain, honestly, how it was achieved (by buying the right machine and using a distro known to work with that machine).
I believe that the "we can make any machine work, sort of..." attitude created a lot of crazy expectations, which hurt "switchers" and thus actually hurt the sale of fully compatible machines. Very sad.
I'm with you though. I bought a Mac solely for the battery life and the screen. If I could get a well-built machine, with a screen that didn't look washed out and a battery that consistently lasted more than four hours without weird tricks I would gladly pay Mac prices for it.
- Backlight bugs are usually related to ACPI tables in the BIOS. Doing a BIOS upgrade will often fix them. This is especially true on the Thinkpad line where Lenovo explicitly supports Linux in its BIOS.
- Be careful with switchable graphics. While they have gotten a lot better, especially with open source drivers, they are still a pain (even on Windows). Choose a laptop with an Intel, or AMD APU. Or, barring that, make sure all of the scanouts are connected to the Intel card, like in my Thinkpad W540. The new Macbook Pro Retina 15" is exactly what you want to avoid - it forces all inputs to be connected to the discrete card when you boot Linux.
- Make sure you have a good wifi card. Intel or Atheros is the best.
- Do a bit of research before buying, like on the arch wiki.
- If you buy a bleeding edge laptop chipset, expect to need to use a bleeding edge distro for complete support.
This, a thousand times. While I haven't used Arch for a few years, and probably never will again, they have some of the best and most complete documentation in the GNU/Linux world. Chances are, if there's ever been a Linux-specific issue, some Arch user has run into it and either fixed it themselves or found the answer in the Arch community. Their wiki is quite thorough as well.
Another great source is linuxquestions.org. Half a million members and still growing, and they cover all major distros (though there's a ton of Slackware power users there, which suits me fine).
Interesting - my experience with respect to this is that Apple will "just replace it" if a user complains enough.
Both my MBPs (17" 2009, last 17" made (2012?)) had chronic sleep/resume issues, where they would wake up unprompted, either immediately after going to sleep, or after a while (in my bag, turning it into a furnace), or not resume at all when waking up.
The Genius Bar "replaced a daughterboard, which should fix it", which naturally didn't.
In my quest for a solution, I tried everything and met hundreds of poor souls with this problem, of varying technical aptitude - some far exceeding mine.
Changing the sleep mode, examining logs/dmesg/provided no hints, or relief. I gave up and started shutting it down or hibernating.
I don't miss OS X.
 Not a direct quote, but something equally eye-roll-invoking.
But your anecdote doesn't address my point: Do you think any combination of laptop brand and linux distro would be more likely to have everything work out of the box than Apple hardware running OS X?
By no means! It worked out for the best.
> I think most would agree that such problems are quite rare compared to other OSes.
Macbooks are very popular nowadays, but somewhat less so 5-6 years ago when I was diagnosing this. There were many, many people in my shoes all over the Apple discussions and other forums ("hunderds" from my previous post is almost definitely an underestimation). I'm not sure what percentage of total users this adds up to, but personally I wouldn't call it "rare". You can picture the frustration of paying top dollar for a premium machine/experience, not getting Genius Bar help and trying out any whacky witchcraft-y solution in case it works (reset SMC! PRAM! throw salt behind your back! try the new firmware from today!). Ugh.
> Also, it sounds like you had decent support from Apple. Though they failed, they expended significant effort and money to try and solve the problem.
Not quite. It was I who expended significant effort (take it in/be laptopless for a few days) and money (not under warranty) and to no avail. I don't remember what they said they fixed, but they charged me a little for some hardware part and labour. I didn't repeat the experiment for that issue, but the next time I had to get Apple support, the response was astounding as well. I don't place much faith in the Genius Bar, and it is far from blind Apple-bashing in my case.
> But your anecdote doesn't address my point: Do you think any combination of laptop brand and linux distro would be more likely to have everything work out of the box than Apple hardware running OS X?
Well, yes, but you aren't going to like it. If you want a "brand" recommendation, Thinkpads are still your best bet. I've seen you're hit by that brightness bug, and that really does suck, but... "such problems are quite rare compared to the average Linux on Thinkpad experience" :/ I got a refurb X220 from ebay and put 14.04 on it - everything worked, down to the fingerprint reader. Go for a specific model rather than a brand, as "Our Milages Do Vary" even within brands.
As for the out-of-the-box experience, for my personal use case (hacker/developer) I don't value it that much. I'd much rather tweak a bit, but then have a system that "won't betray me", than have something that works 90% of the way I'd want it to, out of the box, and occasionally crash and fail me in mysterious undiagnosable ways. OS X wasn't even at 90% for me - "Always on Top" available out of the box nowadays? I had Afloat for this (and transparencies) in 10.6, but it didn't work for 10.7+
For the out-of-the-box experience in a casual user's use case, I have another anecdote for you - my distinctly non-technical mother. After seemingly making a hobby out of infecting her Windows XP/Vista over the years, I had this crazy idea to try Linux Mint on her crapware HP 17" laptop. I won't lie to you, I did hold my breath a bit while installing, hoping that I'll manage to sort out the inevitable issues, and I was surprised to find no issues at all. Everything worked out of the box and she's still using it, over a year later, with no complaints or need for technical support from me. She's a casual user - browsing, email, flash game or two - and she didn't really need Windows that much after all.
Finally, just like OS X works well with specific hardware, Linux is sort-of the same. If all vendors bothered with Linux support, the situation would be different and you'd have much greater chances of "Just Works" - but alas, that isn't so. If you can pick your laptop to be compatible, you won't have issues 99% of the time. Occasionally, vendors lie/exaggerate about the extent of Linux support (grep for "XPS 13" for my rant elsewhere on this thread about Dell), so always double-check on wikis/forums/issue trackers (Arch wiki is a goldmine, even if you go with another distro). It sucks a little, that you have to go by specific model, but not that much, really.
Right now I'd pick a T or X series Thinkpad, with Ubuntu base for power users (and a strong recommendation to research other window managers) or Mint 17 base for average users.
 My second, and final data point with the Genius Bar (UK/Oxford Str - in case it matters): Took in my girlfriend's Macbook, under warranty, for some obvious hardware issues (disk not detected intermittently? instability issues? I can't recall exactly but it screamed hardware). I know this sounds like I'm making it up, but initially they told me that the issue was limited free disk space (5G/500G) and only accepted to take a deeper look at it after some stern comments from yours truly. I kid you not: not enough free disk space. Anyway, the motherboard was faulty and was replaced. And - miracle of miracles! - it worked even with the measly 5G free disk space >:[
1. I don't see the problem.
2. Oh, I see, that's a feature!
3. Hmm, not a feature you say, then it must be those pesky 3rd party apps you are using.
4. Ok, ok, it's a clean install, have you done all the upgrades?
5. You have? I see, well we will probably fix it in the next driver/software update, wouldn't you like to just wait?
6. You wouldn't???? Ok, fine, I guess it might be a hardware issue, but it's probably not covered under warranty, because they all do it.
7. Ok, I guess it's just your device, but are you sure you have warranty?
8. Ok, fine, will fix it, but just this once!
Apple is no more a pain in the ass than any of the other major manufacturers. At least they have an Apple Store in most markets, so you can go and bitch at someone in person, rather than engaging in a futile argument with a bangladeshi call center operator. At least with Apple you have an option to choke to death the person who is "assisting" you, when you eventually snap, instead of just threatening to do so :) Ok, I am not sure if that last bit is a plus.
That being said, I do agree that Genius Bar people are mostly idiots, and are trained to avoid fixing your problem, if at all possible. But honestly, can't you say the same about all of the other companies.
My point was in response to "you received decent support from Apple", which has never been my case.
Everything worked out of the box. 100%.
In particular, though, there's an ancient piece of conventional wisdom that always floats around that's very pro-nvidia+linux, but I think it's terribly outdated. AMD and nVidia compatibility with linux are both quite bad and both the OSS and proprietary drivers create a lot of problems for both. You're better off just using Intel straight through, their OSS drivers are plenty good for dev work and quite stable in my experience.
It is a bit out of my range, but it's nice to know Dell is offering a quality non-Windows machine.
I could pick my own hardware for work, and I went with an XPS 13 9333 "Ubuntu edition" + superspeed dock for over 1300 GBP ($2K USD). I shouldn't have sponged on the extra hundred or so bucks for the X1 Carbon (..."startup"...), but the "Linux readiness" sucked me in. I don't exactly feel like I got my money's worth:
- "Coil Whine". My expectations from a $2K SSD laptop is complete fucking silence unless the fans are going. There is still some serious coil whine happening when some arbitrary conditions are met - If you often work in a quiet environment (any AM workers here?), you will notice this eventually. This also changes pitch when <things>, so you won't be tuning it out. This was noted as fixed by Dell for the 9333, when in fact it hasn't been. Not exclusively a Linux issue, but unacceptable in a $2K machine.
- Driver support: wifi: Identity crisis. The stock wifi drivers don't quite register as wifi drivers, but at least NetworkManager still kinda works. "Huh?"
wlan0 no wireless extensions.
- Driver support: wifi: instability. I got very frequent wifi disconnects/hiccups/delays on both the 2.4G and the 5G bands, when other hardware on the same location worked just fine (my Mac co-workers liked to pick on me for this, but hey, I would too in their shoes). By "delays", I'm not nit-picking milliseconds, I mean getting 2000ms+ pingbacks from the AP when a macbook placed right on top of it (for science) got the expected 20-70ms. Huh.
- Driver support: Touchscreen: forget about it. Kind of entirely broken. After using the touch screen, moving the mouse (or trackpad) again will "jump" the cursor position to around 2x, 2y of where you left the touchscreen pointer. This was so annoying when I had a bottom-right "hot corner" kind of thing on Ubuntu (Mac convert here, forgive me) that I disabled the touchscreen entirely with xinput (any accidental touches would subsequently trigger "expose" mode). Also, if you attach a second monitor, the touchscreen input is mapped to the entire virtual desktop, rather than the laptop screen alone. As a consequence, under such circumstances, the touchscreen would only work correctly for taps at 0,0. Huh.
- Superspeed Dock: forget about it entirely, you'll regret buying one for Linux. First of all, not actually a dock, but a port replicator. Nevermind that, that's me being pedantic. Secondly, $180. Nevermind that, that's me being cheap. Thirdly, it doesn't work: Ethernet won't work, audio/mic won't work, HDMI won't work, DVI won't work. Very disappointing, I was looking forward to a triple screen setup. Oh well. Counterpoint: Well, Dell says it won't work, so what did you expect? Dell should put some more intelligence into its "also recommended for you" part of the website. Even if I had seen it, I would have expected some kind of hackaround to be possible. I search far and wide - no dice for the stuff that I cared for (screens/audio). It seems to be related to DisplayLink, which simply dropped Linux Support for its 3xxx/4xxx series. Nice.
Apologies for abusing your vertical screen real-estate, but I've been holding back this rant for well over a year now, and "it's your fault for triggering it" (I kid). But seriously, Dell's "Linux ready $2K wonder" would get them sued if they pulled the same crap for Windows. But it's Linux, so who gives a shit, right?
 Bought a refurbished X220 from ebay for 1/5 the price of the XPS 13 - installed Ubuntu - everything worked from the get-go. Even the fingerprint reader. I've read similar experiences for the vast majority of Thinkpads, since the IBM days, through the Lenovo days. Highly recommended for Linux, though YMMV.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwR4CWzDtfQ Mine isn't quite as bad (or the recording volume is deceptively high on this video), but still very noticable after a while. Also, not deterministically reproducible (my favourite kind of bug). And no, I am not confused about what a fan sounds like. Fans don't change pitch when you hit the built-in keyboard, or scroll on Chromium, or fart in its direction. The pitch change is what makes it stand out from "background noise", so you won't be able to tune it out if you're one of the lucky ones. At a point of high frustration (with another unrelated bug) I literally shouted "shut your fucking face" at my laptop, waking up my girlfriend in the next room :/
 http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/... "We fix coil whine - the fix is: buy 9333s!" - Blatant lie.
 Personally, I don't really care about the touchscreen - there simply wasn't an option for the i7 CPU without one, so... "whatever". Still completely broken drivers, though.
 And the XPS13 doesn't have an ethernet port either, so you rely on the (not so reliable wifi) entirely for networking, if you need such advanced features. I found some hack to make it work, but I forget which exactly. (Document! Idiot.).
My laptop is noticeably whiny a large chunk of the time. Seems to predominantly occur when scrolling image-heavy webpages, or graphics demos with no framerate limiters, but happens other times as well.
The "fix" is to disable low power CPU states. Yeah, you cut battery life, but at least it doesn't bore into your brain. I'd also suggest if you have onsite warranty to keep asking for replacements. Until laptop reviewers grow spines, it's probably the only way to get an issued noticed.
Edit: If you want to see if that'll help, just get a program to run at full CPU and see if the sound goes away. On several ThinkPads I noticed this (scrolling activates CPU), then saw people mentioning the CPU suspend states. Bingo.
For some people it triggers only when a secondary monitor is attached (that's me, usually - right now I don't think it is on, but then again the fans are going so they may be covering it).
For others, it immediately goes away if you switch off the backlight (didn't work for me).
I don't recall if someone has mentioned this in the XPS coil whine bughunt, but I'll give it a go the next time my laptop starts whining. Thanks!
If you are looking for a locked-down consumer appliance of a computer then linux really isn't for you.
That's really the most extraordinary part of the whole movement. 20 years into it it's become mainstream on phones, set top boxes, and embedded devices everywhere but it hasn't also necessarily become some washed down, stupefied, lowest-common-denominator black box that is impenetrable to look at where you rely on the whims of some private company to fix issues that you are unable to communicate to them.
It's still grass-roots and community driven at its core. It hasn't sold out. Anyone is still just a bit a time and hard work away from making a difference - that's pretty powerful.
But I write code for a living and I really can't justify ever having my laptop out of commission because of hardware/OS issues.
"Hey, boss. I'm not going to have my work done today because I installed an $DISTRO update and now my laptop is having driver issues."
OSX makes this particularly easy, though: you clone an OSX install with Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to an external drive. (I have this scheduled to run nightly) You can then boot another Mac from that external drive.
The result is that you don't have to maintain two separate OSX installs. You can borrow somebody else's Mac, boot from your external drive, and boom - your data and your entire working environment are ready to go.
Of course you could also accomplish this with other operating systems. If your main work environment is a virtual machine, it's pretty trivial.
That said, I can't imagine too many developers or IT professionals who only have one working computer at their disposal. I am typing this on my Windows 7/Slackware main workstation, with an old laptop running OpenBSD to my left and an old tower running NetBSD to my right. I can jump on either of those two and get back to work in a few minutes if this one goes down.
Just like the automobile enthusiast who always disassembles parts of their car and replaces components - although their cars probably break down more often these people are enraptured in the art of auto mechanics. What would be our expensive nightmare is to them, hours of enjoyable pastime.
"If you are looking for a locked-down consumer appliance of a computer then linux really isn't for you." LOL, I was going to say, what about chromeOS? That's a locked down distro based on linux. Luckily it is very easy to install a linux distro on it, as I have. You can have the best of both worlds, a locked down simple to use computer, and a tweak to your heart's delight linux distro.
As other have pointed out System 76 targets Linux. I've got an old Dell that shipped with Ubuntu, still works great. Someone else mentioned their new series for Ubuntu, search on the Dell site.
Technically, and conceptually, I think a better observation to make would be that there is a market for premium hardware that works well with linux. Thinkpads used to occupy this niche, but no longer.
I would highly recommend Elementary to jaded OS X users in particular, along with anyone else with an inclination to use Linux. I regularly and happily use all major OSs for coding, design and other super serious stuff, and this is my favorite Linux distro by far.
It looks nice.
And has no window menu whatsoever in any application at all, despite having plenty of space for that.
You video player has detected the wrong ratio for the video you want to see?
Bad luck, elementary will not let you change it.
I still sometimes have to use Windows for work and resume/hibernate works about half the time. The other half I have to power reset it. That's with HP, Dell and Lennovo running Windows 7.
I'm guessing here but I bet the picture for sleep/hibernate ain't all rosy for Macs either.
> the picture for sleep/hibernate ain't all rosy for Macs either.
It's one of those things that has worked well for a long time. I remember on an old Powerbook G4, putting OSX to sleep while it was in the middle of the shutdown process only to wake it later to be welcomed by the shutdown process finishing and powering off.
[Not that OSX didn't have huge warts in those days. SambaFS/CIFS filesystem driver didn't deal well with the server going away for whatever reason. Reads/writes would block forever (because the driver didn't decide to time-out) and anything that attempted to touch it (even Finder) would immediately get sucked in to endlessly waiting.]
Just get supported hw, and you will be fine, applies to all operating systems.
I believe the same is true of OS X, which only works reliably on something like 12% of laptops sold.
The single biggest problem with Cygwin is performance: forking is very slow. When I need to rewrite a script for Cygwin, it's almost invariably to reduce the number of processes spawned.
But almost all of the time, it just works, even building third-party stuff from source. On my home setup, I spend about half my terminal time with Cygwin, the other half in ssh sessions to Linux boxes, and there's no real mental context switch required.
Like I said, it's a gamble. Sometimes the hardware and drivers and phase of the moon is right and everything works. Sometimes no amount of kernel flags and customized modules will fix it. I (along with many others) am willing to pay to not have to worry about potential problems.
1. I ranted a little about it near the end of a recent blog post: http://geoff.greer.fm/2015/01/03/ten-years-of-progress-in-la...
In the case of ThinkPads, you have three interfaces to control backlight brightness: acpi_video0 (standard ACPI interface), intel_backlight (GPU interface), and thinkpad_acpi (vendor specific interface) all with different semantics conforming to ACPI standard, Windows 7 behaviors, Windows 8 behaviors, and vendor private behaviors, and you have user interfaces including BIOS wired special keys, sysfs, udev, X utils, GPU control panels, and desktop environment settings to control the brightness. You have these moving parts for just one vendor and the kernel needs to coordinate all the madness with all the vendors. And the fixes coming out in latest version kernel might not even make it to your version of distros.
So there is a lot of complexity in the even seemingly trivial screen brightness control. Linux still has much to do with the support of heterogeneous hardware. But this is the price you pay for the freedom.
I use a Carbon X1 and have had no issue. Before I've been through other X's and a W.
That fixed the only issue I had which was with the 1 Gig ethernet. Now I'm on stock 14 and of course it has all the newer drivers already.
... unless you think ahead and only buy (and recommend) Thinkpads.
Edit: wanted to clarify that this C720 is my current personal portable. My other is a custom built desktop also running Ubuntu.
Well, that does kinda destroy the convenience of apt.
I'm running Ubuntu and a set of kernel modules I can link later but they are the very same that were then altered for Arch ( which I also tried but had some problems with ). These have carried me from 13.04-14.04 and I'm hoping the 3.17 kernel will be included soon because these components are built right into that kernel version AFAIK.
1.) Laptop hardware/construction that rivals Apples. I hate plastic. I hate it.
2.) A usable trackpad. Apple has by far the most usable trackpad and it works well. Windows/Linux laptops force me to bring a mouse because the trackpads/drivers are essentially crap by comparison.
3.) Hassle-free wireless and graphics card drivers. Linux I'm staring you in the eye poking you in the kidney. This isn't always a crapshoot, but boy howdy can it be.
4.) An supported upgrade path. Too many "PC" manufacturers put their hardware out to pasture the day it's released. No updates. No support.
Windows is largely unusable for me for development work. Babun or cygwin make things better but I hate having this fucked off environments disconnected from the core of the operating system. It's like working/developing in a vagrant box without wanting to...
Linux is damn close but without a good hardware vendor it's a no go. I could buy a Mac and install Linux on it, but what's the point? Might as well just use OS X... and here we are.
 I want to emphasize the "for me" part. I'm not trying to say you can't enjoy it, or that it's across the board "shitty" by any means. I gladly recognize for some folks-- it's wonderful.
Oh and the Thinkpad keyboard kicks the Macbook's butt.
And keyboard preference is just that, preference. I personally like my Macbook Pro's keyboard to my Thinkpad's. Weird how opinions work. But maybe this guy would actually like the Thinkpad's keyboard...he should go try one out. Do Best Buy's carry them? Are Best Buy's still around?
I really want to emphasize I'm talking about my preference. I don't want to anyway say that the Thinkpad isn't great for some folks.
With that said...
I personally just don't like Thinkpad keyboards at all.
A MacBook Pro (MBP) keyboard for me is much nicer to type on, but it's also completely inferior to a mechanical keyboard (again, for me).
I've looked (online) at some from HP (envy?) and they seemed alright but were often underpowered for my tastes. I really like that I can get a high power i7 in a MBP. Cheap? No. Fast? Yes. I'm okay with paying that premium.
I haven't tried the Lenovo Thinkpads; so, I am admittedly behind the times.
One change to MBPs that I loathe is not being able to upgrade my ram or SSD. I'd be fine if it was a weird format/connector/size, as a result of the form factor, but having them soldered on is a step too far.
I also very much miss my matte screen. Matte "stickers" (?) suck and just look shitty.
It made Alan Kay part with Mac. The downside is their price, otherwise they are superior to Apple's Mac Books.
Then again, I use a MacBook Air, which doesn't usually seem to be the Mac of choice for people on here, so... shrug
Sometimes the mouse still moves, but nothing else. About 50% of these cases I need to reboot the laptop. I used to reboot my Mac once a month or less. Now it's daily.
I want to downgrade OSX from 10.10 to 10.8, two versions back, because I read somewhere that it's the fastest of them.
In the last 2-3 years, Apple only added self-serving cloud shit and tried to make everything more like iOS, but the fucking Finder columns still don't auto-resize to the length required to read the filenames without "...." in the middle.
So now every time I turn on my MBA 2011, FileVault kicks into high gear and drains the battery in under an hour, rendering the machine unusable unless it's plugged in. The only solution seems to be to reformat the machine. Yeah right, like I have the time for that.
This is just another in the weekly 5 minutes of hate on Apple that Hipster News loves to perpetuate.
Put two minutes into understanding this and then come back and tell me I'm a hipster douchebag because I needed my damned second screen.
 OSX lion 10.7 full screen apps disables second monitor. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3204004 (and hundreds, if not thousands, of duplicate threads for 10.7 and 10.8)
So, the solution is actually: Just move and resize your windows with the mouse, like normal people.
My previous Linux machine was a Sony VAIO SZ, running Ubuntu 8.04; it did basically everything that I needed, and my only complaint that I'd have if downgrading to it today would be the reduction in battery life. Is there a great set of laptop hardware to run Linux on these days? What do people use when they just want a candy-reduced window system?
 MacBook Pro Retina 15", Mid 2012; periodically, usually while I am scrolling through a web page, the machine becomes unresponsive (sound stops, cursor stops), and a minute or two later, the machine powers off. Sometimes it reboots on its own; afterwards, there's no kernel panic log. As far as I can tell, something goes wrong, and after a few minutes, the SMC's watchdog timer gives up, and shoots the machine in the head.
But, as the grandparent said, this sounds more like a hardware issue,
I despise the "fresh install"/"just format it" response to problems - it shows that nobody really knows wtf is going on and/or can't help you, but maybe starting from a clean slate will make it not broken? (Until it happens again and you need to clean-slate it, naturally). Wreaks of Windows ME-level quality in both software and software support.
The "format it for Linux anyway" argument seems a litte fallacious to me. You'd have to format it to put any other OS on it, sure. The point is to get to a state (OS/whatever) where you don't have to resort to random "nuke blasting" methods to fix something.
If formatting once for Linux means I never have to nuke it from space again to fix an issue, then yeah, I'll take it.
I currently own three Macs: an early-2013 MBP (personal), a mid-2014 MBP (work), and a 2010 Mac Mini. All three are running Yosemite and all three work as flawlessly as can be expected. Which is to say: I have not experienced a single one of the issues that OP has described here.
> The iOS-like GUI and "features" such as Launchpad didn't resonate with me.
Then don't use it Launchpad. I'm pretty sure I have never used Launchpad, except maybe once to see what it was, and it has neither gotten in my way nor caused any issues. I have to admit that I'm puzzled why so many people are so vocal in their complaints about it. If you don't like it remove it from the Dock and forget about it.
> I spent a lot of time going through the System Preferences, figuring out what I had to turn off in order to get my sanity back.
He links here to a Wikipedia page about Notification Center, the implication being that it's a pain. Any device is going to have default settings you don't personally care for. That's why they are preferences.
> Messages in 10.10 is a complete shitshow. It's a stunning regression. I gave up on it shortly after Yosemite was installed. The content was frequently out-of-order, mislabeled as new, and the conversation usually unparsable.
I have not experienced this even once, let alone so frequently as to make Messages unusable.
> There are lots of other little things that irk me: mds being a hog, distnoted being a hog, lack of virtualization, other system services mysteriously firing up, bogging the system down.
I ran into the distnoted issue on Mavericks, but it turned out to be a bug in emacs. Once that fixed both disnoted and the cmd-tab problem were fixed. Other than that, thought, neither mds nor any other process has caused me any issues, ever.
> It doesn't help that the Macbook Pro I have is one of those lemons that overheats easily, thus kicking the fans into "rocket taking off" mode.
Oh. So there is defective hardware in the equation, but he's blaming the operating system. Ok then.
Went from NetBSD to OS X in 2002, then to Linux in 2008, then back to OS X in 2011.
I spend almost all of my time in cross-platform apps, but the little inconveniences of Linux on a laptop just weren't worth the trouble back in 2011, and I'd be surprised if anything has changed since then.
OS X at its ugliest and least stable wipes the floor with Linux at its best, imo.
The linux machines were whiteboxes of the same age, and while there was a curl or two in setting them up, were still just as speedy and usable when aged as they were when new.
As for Spotify, it consumes a lot of memory. You'd better off with iTunes.
Edit: wholly agree with OSX not wiping the floor with Linux
Specifically: sleep/restore, display brightness control, sound, battery life, wifi, fonts, endless desktop tweaking. ymmv, but this stuff has just never been optimal out of the box.
When I say "wipe the floor," I mean in regards to time wasted (measurable) and appearance (subjective).
As per the list you have made, I didn't find any difficulty with anything but fonts and that was ten years ago. Some of my friends still use Ubuntu and when I say this I am not saying with any malaise or Apple-hate (which I honestly do not posses) but I must confess, today's Ubuntu's font rendering is a lot better than OSX's.
Not to mention it just works out of the box now, everything! And if you are the tweaker type, no doubt you have got the endless possibilities. But as you mentioned and rightly so, ymmv.
On another note I would just like to mention 2 years is a long time in Linux and you might want to give it another go.
One thing that definitely kills the Linux experience for most people is that they buy a new laptop model and then complain about Linux not supporting their hardware. In fact, the latest Linux kernel image will generally be pretty awesome about hardware support, but most Linux distros ship with an older kernel version.
The weird thing is I don't even know what they're going for.
There are two trends I've seen:
1) Be more like iOS (for example, the dumb reverse scroll (wait sorry, "natural" scroll") and removing things like UI elements reacting to hovering.) I have no idea what's even clickable anymore. That's idiotic. I get consistency, but you shouldn't kick one platform in the knees to replicate the shortcomings of another. OK so touch screens don't have hover. Still, I'd like to have that back on the desktop. It'd be nice to know what's actually clickable.
2) Being more "social". Like now all my OSX devices want to be connected to my phone, and tell me about every goddamn text message. And if I try to ignore this, I get berated by annoying login screens. "Cancel". Hey maybe you want to see that screen again! NO! fuck off! I have no interest in iCloud, stop asking me five times to log in. Apple seems hell bent into annoying you into signing up for a lot of privacy degrading services.
Not only that, but they just choose bizarre fucking defaults. Like, if I sync my iPhone, it will pop up iPhoto automatically with all my recent photos. Jesus christ. On the plus side, I'm boring, so there's nothing really there, but who the hell thought that was a good idea?!? Does apple have any idea what people actually use cell phone cameras for? Sure there are tame uses, but all the same, I mean jesus christ. That's the dumbest default I've seen, and turning it off is basically impossible.
It's not like, in lieu of this reason, there's some massively compelling argument to prefer one way or the other. If not for touch screens, the direction would be completely arbitrary. It didn't end up that way, so they've changed it now.
There are plenty of reasons to complain about OS X. This isn't one of them.
Admittedly I use an actual mouse with actual buttons. I tossed the "magic" mouse into a drawer after a week because it was annoying. Cute, but a pain when you're trying to get actual work done.
And it's not "suddenly". You toggle a checkbox. For about five minutes, you get scrolling backwards. Your brain adapts, and then you move on with your life. Seriously, this is a total non-issue, regardless of whatever "different mental mode" nonsense you toss out. You are literally griping about a five minute period of confusion, and I'm guessing have spent years avoiding it.
You seem to be making an attempt to paint me as a luddite afraid of the future, but that's really not accurate. I just like my scroll wheel to not move in the wrong direction because "tablets ermahgerd!" I thought it was stupid to break well established behavior in an attempt to "unify" with a device that runs an entirely different operating system on hardware with entirely different input mechanisms.
I don't really care if Tim Cook is playing chess nine moves ahead or something. I just want the damned thing to not get in my way.
Of course you're right, it's an annoyance that's removed in a matter of seconds by clicking a checkbox, and regardless its a difference you'd quickly adjust to, assuming you kept using Macs fairly exclusively.
Still, it's not clear to me that there was any need for "unification" in this area. But then again, I don't use OS X anymore (and no, the scroll direction wasn't the reason).
Because it's backwards compared to how every computer ever treated it before apple decided to reverse it? Hate hate hate hate hate. Haters ball.
I saw several naked co-workers that way, generally with them standing over my shoulder while I attempted to casually nuke iPhoto without drawing any more attention to it.
It took maybe a day, I'm hooked and now everything else is weird.
The general rule is to wait until at least 10.x.1 (or later), but even now, there are still bugs that indicate that there is little to no structure release or QA process at Apple, and it's likely that few teams have gotten the religion of testing.
* In 10.0.0, systems on Exchange in our office would
freeze after anywhere from 5-60 minutes. Only a hard
reboot would make them responsive.
* smart mailboxes no longer live update for me. I just
have to trut that the messages I've deleted or moved
will be gone when I manually reload the mailbox.
* replying to calendar events in Mail no longer provides
any indication that some action has been performed.
(Maybe this is related to the smart mailbox issue
* Calendar will just stop drawing every once in a while
requiring a restart.
* Calendar frequently barfs on event updates and requires
reverting to the server version for any hope of
reconciling the changes.
* Safari frequently consumes all memory and all CPU for
lighter workloads than I used to run (because I know it
will go out of control at somepoint).
* The background of the login screen frequently has
graphical glitches which are likely caused by
overwriting areas of graphic or texture memory (this
seems to happen on Intel or dedicated graphics cards)
* iPhoto forced a database update, crashed in the middle
of the migration, and corrupted a decade old library.
This happened immediately after time machine told me
that it needed to start a new a backup and deleted my
most recent good backup.
The pains of switching were greatly exaggerated in my head.
First you get a good base: Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora (?), etc.
You may have to spend a few hours sorting out drivers. I personally haven't had to do so for ages.
Then you ditch Unity (or $default) and try out a few window managers until you find what you like.
Then you "fix it" by customising away your annoyances and tailor it to your workflow.
I'm too tired to re-write this to sound less preachy - so downvotes are welcome - but I was a diehard OSX (up to 10.6) user until I put my toe in the Linux pool. I was expecting it to be freezing and "braced for impact", but actually, it was quite warm and inviting.
Exception: If need OS X apps, your path may be met with more friction. If there's a Windows equivalent to the OS X app, give Wine a try (Windows Emulator) - I keep hearing about how it gives people grief, but as far as I've seen, even my (distinctly non-technical) mother has installed and used small Windows applications without a glitch (or even realising that she is running Windows applications on her Mint). I think I read about some Mac-wine kind of thing, but not sure how mature it is - Google will help you.
To borrow a slogan: Just do it. You may be as surprised as I was.
It could very well be a hardware issue, but since it only happens at the login screen and it consistently happens only after the Yosemite update, I'm fairly certain its software.
e.g. - I think it's Woz.
Frankly, it feels like Windows in the 1990s. No, I don't have rose tinted spectacles of nostalgia on, something is broken in the way Apple produce OS X now, and I just can't with good conscience recommend a Mac anymore. At least weekly I experience random lockups, reboots, temporary freezes, full freezes that require cold cycle, etc.
Yes, my computer passes all diagnostics. No, Apple haven't found anything wrong. Yes, I'm incredibly technical and have decades of experience. Yes, I have fully re-installed and re-formatted and been through no end of measures to correct a phantom problem. No I'm not imagining things.
OS X just sucks compared to what it was a few years ago.
I'm not quite ready to abandon the platform, simply because I haven't done the home work to find another hardware supplier to run some other OS on.
Does anyone have any pointers or suggestions regarding laptops of comparable build quality and design as a MacBook Pro? This physical device and form factor is the thing keeping me in the Apple world. Otherwise, I'm ready to jump ship.
To those on here with plenty of access to people who could shake things up, perhaps with a league of hardware engineers and industrial designers, and a healthy dose of funding, mark my words, there is room in this industry for a shakeup right now. I'll bet dollars to donuts I'm not the only one awaiting a viable alternative.
Check out the Razer Blade 14". It's like a black/green Macbook Pro with a real GPU, higher res screen, and thinner chassis. It could use a magsafe and thunderbolt, but after reading about thunderstrike, I'm not missing that last one so much :D
I do disagree about Yosemite's installation time, coincidentally I just updated my wife's 2011 MBA last night and it took around 40 mins. The funny thing is once Yosemite was installed everything works as expected, the only setup that I needed to do was relogin her Apple account.
Using Linux as your desktop entails doing a lot more setup and configuration, and it's very tedious to constantly searching for solutions to functionality that should've worked right out of the box.
He's referring to the infamous bug for Homebrew users or just anyone with a lot of files in /usr/local on which the OS X install chokes hard, copying each file individually, taking many hours to complete the install.
On OSX you get a tiny little bubble in the upper right from your chat program and if you miss it, too bad. I've seen people resorting to shouting or tapping on shoulders because of this. Trying to do something as simple as change the font size was difficult or impossible.
On linux I get nice big notifications. If I miss or choose to ignore them, my WM highlights windows that need my attention and they stay that way till I get to it.
There are fixes no doubt, but this lack of "customizability" permeates OSX and seems to be getting worse.
System Preferences -> Notifications -> [Application] -> Style -> 'Alert'
Under that it says
> Banners automatically appear in the upper-right corner and go away automatically. Alerts stay on screen until dismissed.
There is a very limited number of things to change in there is what I am saying.
2. The system notification center (the icon on the upper right corner or a two-finger swipe from the right on a trackpad) lists every notification you haven't cancelled:
It's pretty tough to a buy a run of the mill laptop (as I do every few years) without Windows pre-installed.
I have been triple booting Windows, Ubuntu, and Arch linux all from the same laptop for the past few years now and loving it.
Windows is great when I need stuff to "just work". For example, when I want to quickly plug my laptop into the hdmi cable to watch a movie in better quality on my TV. Or if I need to quickly print out something on a random printer the plug and play features built into windows are amazing.
I spend most of my time using Arch Linux, with Ubuntu being my fallback if I really run into trouble (Arch can be... finicky. But I wouldn't use anything else.) with what I am trying to do with linux.
I would probably have OS X on there too if it came for free with my laptop purchase to be honest.
With an SSD Hard Drive any operating system you desire is only a reboot and 15 seconds away. So why choose?
How much better are Firefox and Thunderbird on OS X? And media players and terminals? Because other than a calculator or an occasional spreadsheet, those are about the only native applications I ever use.
I am a thrifty guy, so almost never buy new laptops but used Thinkpads that are a few years old... this might explain why I don't usually have any driver problems.
I just can't figure out, for what I do, how OS X would be any better? Maybe one of these years I'll get off my wallet and find out what all the fuss is about. Or maybe not.
Both do automatic text wrapping and reflow it on window resize, which is hard to find on Linux terminals. Also, neither relies on the control key for menu item key equivalents. Copy is Command-C, SIGINT is Control-C.
On Linux, Control-C is copy everywhere except in terminal windows; there Control-C is SIGINT and Control-Shift-C is copy. I often type the wrong one, and either fail to copy text, or worse, abort a long-running process by accident.
When you use Linux, do you use key equivalents in the terminal (copy, paste, etc.)? How do you handle the inconsistencies with other apps?
I actually hadn't noticed this as I usually run things inside of screen, but it seems that there are options.
> When you use Linux, do you use key equivalents in the terminal (copy, paste, etc.)? How do you handle the inconsistencies with other apps?
I'll give you that one. This bugged me at first (usually doing Ctrl+Shift+C in Chromium, I've never done Ctrl+C in a terminal inadvertently) so I made an extension that calls me an idiot when I Ctrl+Shift+C in Chromium. That cured it fast.
What I like about Linux is that I haven't found something that can't be done - for example, if this bothered you sufficiently, you could remap Super-c to be copy universally - this seems like it would work. The terminal would possibly need its own override.
I've never noticed the lack of text wrapping and reflow until you mentioned it, but you are correct, at least on KDE that I'm using at the moment.
I think the reason I've never consciously noticed this before is because I'm almost always using VIM in the terminal when typing lines of any length. With VIM, line wrap and reflow work just fine in the terminal. I actually had to check that it didn't work with naked terminal commands, and was a bit surprised when it didn't. I suppose I haven't typed many raw terminal commands of the length to wrap, and in the rare case I did, I must have just dealt with it. So it's cool there is a terminal that wraps... that's worth a point or two... but not that a big a deal in my particular case.
For copy-paste I just use the mouse. Works normally on konsole (right-click highlight > select copy, same > select paste). On urxvt I paste by clicking left and right mouse together. Keybindings could be set easily enough in KDE and I believe there is a plugin called "xclip" for urvxt that would do the same. I haven't bothered because what I have seems to work fine and I rarely copy/paste (again, except in VIM which has it's own thing). Admittedly a nice terminal all set up that didn't require customization would be cool. But I take my setup from machine to machine anyway in config files so again...not that big of a deal.
I'm not sure about inconsistencies with other apps. The Control-C thing I'm used to. I don't hit Control-C to copy in the terminal by habit at this point although I could see how that could be an adjustment.
Anyway, cool... thanks. I didn't realize OS X had a very nice terminal. Good to know.
I've never seriously used Linux, but my recent "upgrade" experiences have not been good: http://jakeseliger.com/2015/01/01/5k-retina-imac-and-mac-os-... . Finder crashes; FCP X crashes; a user account crashes; permissions problems; migration problems. Snow Leopard rarely if ever crashed.
I will say that I've had more permissions issues than any prior install.
You mean "OS X"?
Configuring a fresh Linux install takes a bit of effort, but that effort is adding things I want to make it just the way I like, rather than removing unnecessary cruft to get it more or less how I like. That's a key difference for me.
- iBooks uses up 100% of CPU randomly by pegging storeacountd, even without internet access.
- Mail.app is slow to start and hangs if using email rules to send notifications.
- Not all apps support a dark toolbar.
- There should be more UI LNF's themes that are pluggable.
The cost of Linux though it dependency hell on both Fedora- and Debian-based systems that aren't developed as a whole like FreeBSD or OSX, where library dependencies break things. Sure you can get ZFS going and basically compile most anything on a Linux box without having to wait for the web developers that don't understand UNIX philosophy to maintain a technical dilettante's popular package system. But really, you should be developing in isolated containers as similar to production as possible using something like Docker and Xen|KVM.
Also, the Linux kernel has bazillions of syscalls that change with the wind compared to *BSD and XNU (under a few hundred).
If I had to choose another OS, it would likely be PC-BSD. If that didn't work, the BATNA would be Mint. Failing that: arch.
Slackware -> Debian -> Ubuntu -> OS X.
As with the author, I'm pretty sure I'm done with OS X. If I want to go back to Linux, what is the best path? Mint? Back to Ubuntu? Something new?
You might be sacrificing running the bleeding edge of that particular environment, but instead you get kept more up to date on basically everything else (not that the others lag that much, but you're probably waiting a little longer for the next point release at the very least).
If you're willing to put up with a little fiddling around, a tiling window manager like XMonad is really worth the learning curve. I've used it exclusively for work for the past year and it's been a revelation.
I guess if needed lots of packages on the fly, or changed machines every few months it would be different. But it's once in a great while... then solid and stable for a long time.
To be frank, I would rather build packages from source. It's not I'm suspicious, but I run into plenty of problems with versions etc. using package tools, and it's really not that much more work just to do it the basic way.
I haven't upgraded to 10.10 yet. It just seems like a lot of useless pain. I have no need for any of the "features" they've added.
To be fair to OSX, when you do an "upgrade" in modern "user friendly" linux distros (Ubuntu, for example), you would be smart not to click the "upgrade me to the next release" button. It's usually worse than the experience on OSX in my experience by a large margin.
I agree with the poster on almost everything he said, but I still don't know if the pain is enough for me to justify switching back to linux. The amount of time spent configuring things is just wasted time. I lost the drive to spend countless hours tinkering years ago.
"Turning things off" in OS X usually is a preference pane option. Every now and then you have to do something a bit more elaborate to get the behavior you desire. I'd argue that on Linux, the time spent turning the things you want on and off is far more time consuming.
How "pleasant to use" the default experience is, and "number of steps needed to be done" after a fresh OS install are a very important metric to me. If see that metric going up, I will switch to something where that metric is lower. I care more about this metric than the end result usability (including personal tweaks).
Tweaks and adjustments are fine in the short term, but in the long term, if you're unhappy with the design decisions and the direction the OS developers are making, there's no winning.
I'm more happy to make small sacrifices and adjust myself to to like the default experience so that this metric can be lower, and I can enjoy using the OS more. But that's me.
Now that I'm mostly done with my hacks (check http://en.blog.guylhem.net/post/106153399669/how-to-recreate...), I have a spare one to sell. It's the tablet version, with a wacom digitizer (works with xournal)
Startup finished in 763ms (kernel) + 579ms (userspace) = 1.343s
Email me if you are interested.
These experiments rarely last very long, and almost always end because the video/graphics support is just so terrible. I have yet to find a reliable way to play videos without horrible screen tearing.
But I don't know what alternative there is. Windows' experiments with Metro was a disaster. PC-BSD has some really nice features (I love ZFS and use it on my fileserver) but has the same issues with hardware support, especially graphics hardware support.
I fear for the future.
In non-composited environments, tearing would happen unless a hardware overlay used.
In composited environments, tearing would be inevitable because the compositor would use a nonsynchronized back-to-front-buffer copy. This has largely been replaced with a synchronized buffer flip, so that there is no tearing at all.
The one remaining issue I have is with fullscreen Firefox videos. These get "direct" output (they skip the compositor) but don't use a hardware overlay, and therefore tear. There are a couple solutions for this that I'm playing with.
The result is that for many things you might type into the start menu, you get offers to install scams on your PC. Idiotic.
Or the other form of support: post to Twitter/HackerNews/etc. and light a fire that they will quickly need to put out...
It's so bad that Netflix required three takedowns for the same publisher before MS decided not to allow scam "official" Netflix apps. The second hit for Facebook is a scam (FB has no way I found to report stuff if you don't have a FB account - lame for security.)
I'm betting that some high level people at Microsoft have a bonus tied to "number of apps published". That's the only way this crap makes sense. Even unpaid 14yr olds would do s better job cleaning up the Store. It's far worse than Android Marketplace ever was.
Windows 8.1 improved things a bit by identifying some scenarios where Metro was unnecessary and keeping it out of the way. So relative to Windows 7 it's now two steps forward and one step back.
I've used the Windows 10 preview and early signs suggest that it's going to be two steps forward from Windows 7.
There's smaller improvements too, like the new Task Manager .
There's also mundane stuff like rejigged NTFS this and that .
Client Hyper-V is a welcome addition.
One thing I had heard was that game performance was better on windows 8 and 8.1 compared to 7. Though after looking up some benchmarks investigating that, it does not seem to be the case. There are some differences either way depending on game/graphics card but they are very minor anyway.
I kept using xp until 7 came out. This is also what industry did. So I'll probably wait until they bring out another one aimed at industry.
Unfortunately, the improvements were negated by the lame ass UI, which thankfully Microsoft will be ditching.
That's funny, because ALL of the non-technical regular people that I know of hate windows 8. A lot of them downgraded to Windows 7.
One thing that I loathed, though, was Messages. I find myself unable to make it work. Contacts? Nope, can't find 'em. Oh, wait there's one--nope, it's gone. Oh, wait, it's there again. Oh, did you send a message? Nope, it didn't get through. Sent another one? That one got through, but not the reply.
OS X is fine, but Messages is horribly, horribly broken. I could write better software, and I am a self-taught programmer.
For what it's worth, I've had a couple friends who had issues with Messages and it was primarily iCloud related.
Aside from a few initial issues when running the beta's, I haven't had an issue with Messages for the last four or five months.
> I've gone back to a desktop system running Linux (for now) and while I consider it markedly inferior to OS X in terms of usability, it feels like a personal computer again.
I like that Woz recognizes that usability (interface design, etc.) is (a) not the most important thing, but (b) it is still important. The idea that usability is the only thing that matters are the reason why people are moving away from OS X; the idea that usability is just useless bells and whistles is why Linux has never gained a major desktop foothold. There needs to be a balance.
Also tried most of the *nix favours throughout the years - but so far the apps have been unable to replace those on OS X.
What i failed to find as replacement on Linux:
- User friendly two-way firewall like Hands Off! or Little Snitch.
- File-organizer app like Hazel.
- Multi-tab-column file-browser like Pathfinder.
- Screenshot + annotation manager/editor like Voila.
- Window layout manager like Moom.
- Adobe Creative Suite (Yes, i can run it in a VM - but it's s l o w!)
I used to confidently recommend OS X to people as something that "just works". I can no longer do so. It's a buggy steaming pile.
For me, one of the things that made OS X so easy to use was the quality of the third-party apps. Right now, I have no less than 80 third-party apps installed on my MBP. I keep telling myself that that is a LOT of money to invest, to walk away. But then I remind myself that is the "sunken cost fallacy"... I cannot get the money back.
I wish that many of the same third-party apps existed for Linux. I'd be HAPPY to pay top dollar for stuff on Linux, just like I did on OS X. But at this point, it's just not there.
I will go back to using Linux as my main machine, and LOTS of workarounds for the productivity apps I have on OS X.
I already have a ThinkPad W530 that is an absolute beast of a machine (32GB of RAM, 3 SSDs w/2.1TB of usable space), but I may trade in my MBP for a Chromebook Pixel. At this point, it's closer to "just works" than anything Apple is offering. :/
Coming back to ditching OSX, the recent Chrome/Netflix ability has made a big difference for me. That was the one last thing that was a pain, it was always possibly, but not always very reliable and a little tedious, but now there's nothing left (besides of course Photoshop) that doesn't run on Linux. It's really less about the operating system and more about what you want to run, if it's games then windows, if it's designer/photographer then OSX, if it's nerd (git/gcc/python etc) then it's linux.
I've been using OS X since 10.1, and the reliability of OS X has taken a dive ever since 10.7 launched. 10.6 was certainly the high water mark for reliability in OS X, and probably the best traditional version of OS X (and a version that I'd recommend a lot of people and companies stick with if it were still patched).
Feature wise, I really like 10.10. It makes me more productive, the software is easy on the eyes, and the iOS and iCloud integration is pretty great. I like all of that. But I really wish Apple would stop trying to push out new OS versions so fast and concentrate more on QA. Even iOS has been seen some bug creep lately.
I get pushing iOS, since the mobile space is so new, but do I really need a new desktop OS every year built on a paradigm from 30 years ago?
All my development environment transferred without a hitch (bash and git worked right out of the box) and compared to Windows 8, Mac OS feels like a clunky, antiquated OS.
I still use Linux (work desktop) and Mac (work laptop) but Windows is really where I feel I'm the most productive these days.
Presently I run Mint in virtualbox on my Surface pro 3, because native Linux support does not appear to be there for multi-touch screens and features such as the detachable keyboard. Multi-touch and some sort of tablet mode (ie virtual kbd) are critical to be able to develop and test apps that are destined for anything other than desktop-only status (meaning basically all of them).
Is there a decent combination of hardware and FOSS OS that really fits today's agile/mobile developer?
So this appears to be the result of popularization, or appealing to the bottom line consumer, the one that throws away an old computer to buy a brand new one instead of replacing components piecemeal. The bottom line is: OS X's changes are not made for you, and you're right to switch to something that suits your needs. Additionally, the claims of ineptitude are misplaced, given the information about their recent sales. It appears to be what consumers want.
My brother had his first Macbook Air a few months back and he didn't do the Yosemite upgrade as well. When I ask him, why? He replied, "I don't think the update have anything for me."
Yosemite really did have an extremely poor install process.
A friend recently switched from a mac laptop at work to a windows laptop which surprised me. While she has always been a windows user, I was surprised that OSX didn't convert her to the platform. I also noticed that as more and more people start using macs, I hear more and more grumbling about them.
It's not – on any of the recent operating systems in normal usage, crashes are rare and usually a sign of failed hardware.
> I also noticed that as more and more people start using macs, I hear more and more grumbling about them.
That's largely a function of popularity and time, particularly since we're well past the point where people have had time to accumulate custom/broken settings and install a ton of system-altering crud. I'm sure if everyone switched to Linux today, they'd start by talking about how much faster it is and within a few years be complaining about how the same system is slow and unreliable, particularly if they'd ever installed software written by a large company.
Not at all. Linux isn't windows. I don't know if that happens to OSX, but adding slow software to linux only slows the system when the software is running. The best example of that would be flash, which will bring a linux box to its knees. Once you kill the flash process, everything is back to normal.
Well, they aren't "rid of nerd/hardcore users." There's plenty of "hardcore users" who use Macs, and more and more try it out or completely switch over every year.
Also, why would a company who develops an operating system targeted towards creative users and developers be "glad to be rid of" such an important demographic?
I don't understand why the Copy of OSX I am running should dictate which copy of Mail, Safari, FaceTime, or iTunes I use. Also, I would really love to see Apple package at least 2 release worth of API libraries in each release, so that apps that have yet to be updated to the latest OSX could still run without issues.
If I was not so vested in the whole debian ecosystem, Fedora 21 would have been perfect.
For those who have only ever used OSX, you should know that you need a USB stick to build a bootable LiveUSB - this allows you to try Linux without actually installing it on your Mac 
At one point, I had a workflow consisting of a Chromebook + Chrome + GMail + Secure Shell + Linux VPS running Ubuntu Linux. It worked pretty well so long as I could rely on there being a fast, low-latency, stable internet connection (say, at a university). Then I moved to the Bay Area. ;)
 Chrome Extension which purportedly contains OpenSSH compiled for Portable Native Client so that it can run inside Chrome. Convenient, but YMMV for the paranoid.
I also tried Arch Linux both in a VPS and in a Virtual Machine after switching to OS X, but at some point realized that I had more money and far less free time to spend tinkering with config files than when I was in middle school.
Sometimes I look at the latest Intel-based Surface Pros and wonder whether it makes sense to go back to Microsoft-land.
I run Win8 full time now (on a Macbook Pro), and virtualise linux with Virtual Box. It's very solid and you can 'do everything' as well as live in a terminal.
The pocket computer needs to be battery powered, able to run virtual machines and have ethernet/wifi. SSH and Cygwin gnome-terminal (for tabs) could be used to connect from the Windows laptop.
I have been using Ubuntu for many years but there are a number of windows audio applications that do not run well under wine or OSX. This setup would allow me to do web development using Vagrant VMs, Photoshop etc and switch to audio work without having to reboot.
I have tried running Ubuntu guest VMs from windows and it's not always ideal for development. There are issues with VMs inside VM that a pocket computer would not have.
I will say my 2009 MBP core 2 duo with an HDD is slow and painful to use, but I upgraded to the top of the line in 2014 and I'm very happy. It doesn't really surprise me. I mean, come on. What computer is he using? If he bought a new one I'm sure there would be no problems. If you can't afford it, you probably shouldn't be buying Apple anyway. It's like a poor person complaining that skiing is too expensive. Duh.
Trying to make Windows 8, OSX and Ubuntu Unity more like mobile OSes was a really bad move. All that people want is a great desktop experience, why make a small 5" touchscreen the inspiration for the desktop?!
Apparently that's changed. I haven't tried the latest ubuntu with chrome and netflix, but if it does indeed work I think I may try switching.
To top it off, Apple has shifted their focus from 'it just works' to 'buy a new iPhone/iPad for no reason'.
I feel the pain:
#1 Problem in Computing: Poorly written
documentation to explain the system, tool,
program, whatever. The OP had this problem.
#2 Problem in Computing: System management as
in hard/software selection, installation,
configuration, monitoring, updating. The
OP had this problem, too.
#2.1 Special Problem: System security.
The source of my most recent case of
#3 Problem in Computing: Hard/software
design that results in tools that are
efficient and effective to use. Yup, OP
had this problem.
#4 Problem in Computing: Everything else.
Maybe OP didn't have any of these problems!
If anything after spending years using various distros on servers it makes sense to start using it on the desktop too as it is exactly the same experience I'm used to, with a bonus of a GUI.
Don't get me wrong, I think Poettering is a blight on the Linux landscape but I've installed pulseaudio dozens of times and never had a problem once.
I've used Linux exclusively as my desktop OS since 1999 - I'm happy to mess with things till they work. I've never had a piece of software frustrate me so much. It made me feel like I was taking crazy pills; everyone else seemed fine with such an obviously broken addition to Linux, worse yet they standardized around it.
Basically, you got lucky, I didn't. Leads to a very different perspectives!
Dang it, why did they have to use Yosemite as the name of this OS?
It seems that these frustrations against OS X is a mismatch to this user's minimalist requirements: a mail client, iTerm, and a web browser. The OS X ecosystem caters a wide net of users ranging from the pink keyboards of middle school girls to the coffee-infused palms of college students.
results in just a white page in the latest Safari on Yosemite.
In spite of all annoying and time-consuming issues with OS X, I could not afford to switch to Linux, especially not in a business context. SaaS could help, however, the leading SaaS provider are US-based and I can therefore not used them for legal reasons, e.g., due to data privacy legislation.
If you chose Mac and you're looking to use a platform for a decent amount of time without upgrading hardware or having your environment break, you're going to have a bad time
Meh, to each their own. It always amuses me though that people have to tell the world why they're going to switch to a different OS.
I had done Time machine installs for years, and I probably had a lot of cruft.
These restore my sanity :)
When it comes down to it, the conveniences Linux gives me far overshadow the minor pains of having to Google hardware before I buy it to make sure there are drivers. Even on this front, I've almost completely stopped doing it...I've bought several pieces of hardware on a whim in the past few years without thinking, "Oh, wait, will this work?" then plugging it in and have it Just Work. No driver installation, no Googling for errors, just a working camera, sound card, MIDI controller, etc. The major hardware makers, like GPU and network vendors, are all on board. If you buy quality hardware, it is almost certainly gonna work with Linux (and all that old hardware that stopped working with Windows several years ago, due to no new drivers, is still working in modern Linux; this is true for me of two 24 bit audio interfaces, and a MIDI controller).
The command line experience of Linux is simply superior to the alternatives. Mac OS has bash, sure, but all the stuff is in the wrong place with crazy long paths, and all of the software is installed via ornery dysfunctional package bundles from Apple (or from an alternative source, like MacPorts or similar; I truly hate the package management situation on Mac OS X). The command line feels clumsy and bolted on, even though there's UNIX at the core of Mac OS X.
Actually, a huge part of it probably comes down to package management, for me. Package management is so bad on Windows and Mac OS X, and so good on Linux (yum and apt are just really excellent), that I feel a little dirty installing stuff on those platforms. Being able to choose from thousands of packages, especially developer packages, having all the Perl modules I use already packaged and easy to install, having all the Go and node stuff packaged up nicely and ready for tinkering, having a lot of the system built on Python and shell scripts with the source readily available, all of this stuff just adds up to a tinkerers dream.
I feel like I learn something new when I figure out problems on Linux; I feel like I'm being punished when I run into problems on Mac OS X or Windows, even if I get them solved. It's just such a different feeling. I'm sure for someone who isn't technically minded, the experience would be the same...an opaque system that isn't working right. But, for me, when I'm able to patch something and send it off to the maintainer, I feel happy and content. I feel frustration when I run into problems on Mac OS X or Windows. All systems of the size and complexity of a modern OS have problems, it's just a difference of how they get resolved that makes the difference.
I hadn't thought of how great package management was on linux, there are many systems and the ones I've used work very well. Installing software on Windows is positively scary. You can't really remove programs completely unless you do some registry hacking... fun, fun, fun!
I recommend you look at your options and consider the same.
Orange computers in a nutshell:
- beautiful hardware
- minimal OS features. no bloat.
- works out of the box
- a solid Unix environment for development
I don't get it.
If you don't like it just remove the Launchpad icon from the dock and don't hit the F4 key.
It was the breakage of Spotlight-Preview integration that removed my last reason to stay on OS X.
Even if OS X Yosemite is buggy, I don't think it's worth the switch to Linux for a desktop machine. It's a step backwards.
And... I don't understand the "control freak" comment, because OS X quickly became my daily OS. Adjustment consisted of learning a couple new GUI conventions, and the BSD-ish flavor of OS X's underlying Unix tools as opposed to the GNU stuff I knew.
Ten years ago I spent most of my productive time in a terminal window, running irssi, Emacs and a variety of shells inside screen. Today I spend most of my productive time in a terminal window, running irssi, Emacs and a variety of shells inside screen.
For non-productive stuff, I went from having a browser, music and video player, and some games to having a browser, music and video player, and some games.
Steve Jobs never broke into my house and uninstalled stuff or DRM'd my existing music collection. OS X has never said "I can't let you do that, Dave". Stuff works how I expect it to, and I have access to a wider variety of non-progammer-y software now, plus an OS that's easy to keep relatively safe when I want to recommend to a non-technical friend or relation.
So perhaps you could elaborate on what "control freak" elements are affecting me without my knowledge?
I've used Macs since 1984, and I'm on my second MBA, following two MBPs and too many Apple desktops to count. I have also owned many, many Windows PCs. My work is almost entirely on servers running Linux. I am familiar with all three setups.
As a developer Windows is too much of a pain, mainly because it's not Unix, so I can't even come close to duplicating a typical server setup. Windows has steadily improved over the years but I soured on it a long time ago, and even now I wonder how serious developers can use it, unless they are developing for Windows. Typical Windows laptops are terrible quality (I buy one or two every year for my kids), and the nicer Windows laptops are just as expensive as a MacBook, but with worse battery life, and of course they're running Windows. If you think OSX has been polluted with iOS ideas, look at what happened with Windows 8.
I'd love to run Linux on a laptop, and I've done it a few times, but the overall experience always gets frustrating. I can live with tracking down drivers and fixing incompatibilities during an install, but I don't want to keep doing it. Having software at every level -- drivers, OS components, applications -- coming at me from so many uncoordinated sources just creates a level of DLL Hell (shared libraries and drivers) that makes me wistful for Windows 98. Linux is a good server OS, but as a desktop/laptop OS it's an also-ran for a variety of reasons that everyone here already knows.
I travel a lot (digital nomad, I guess) so overall build quality (durability) and battery life are the most important features in a laptop, for me. The MBA and MBP are clearly the best available right now, though I've seen high-end Lenovo and Sony laptops that appear equivalent to my Macbook, but with poorer battery life (I get 9 hours on my 13" MBA), and the same or higher price tag. I don't have time or patience to waste non-billable hours trying to twist the OS and UI into my vision of perfection. I don't even want a desktop background picture. I'm not a teenager trying to personalize everything.
Most Mac users are not going to install a lot of apps, or try to tweak the OS, or make many demands on their system that Apple didn't anticipate. For most Mac users the experience is good out of the box. The more you fuss with it the more likely you will break something, or introduce an incompatibility, or get some crap application or browser extension on it. Developers and hackers (and gamers) are most prone to this, and they will struggle with their computer no matter who made it or what OS it runs. They're like teenagers customizing a car, then complaining that their Toyota Corolla isn't reliable, gets poor gas mileage, and overheats now that they've overriden all of the defaults and tweaked it to suit their personal style.
I'm not saying OSX is perfect for me out of the box, but it's close enough. I don't need to bolt a spoiler on the back, lower the springs, install new rims, and replace the fuel injection chip. I've disabled Launchpad (easy), Dashboard (easy), excessive notifications (easy), iCloud (reasonably easy), transparent windows (easy), accessibility/usability shortcuts and gestures I don't like (easy), and installed some newer versions of Unix apps I use (usually easy, but can go wrong -- try doing it on Windows). I don't like iPhoto taking over when I plug my phone in but I managed to turn that off -- maybe it helps that I use an Android phone.
My MBA is used at least four hours every day and travels in a backpack. It's up for weeks at a time, I usually only have to reboot it for an OS upgrade or patch, or if I run the battery dead. I use Yosemite, it seems OK, no better or worse than previous OSX releases. I don't have problems with wi-fi, audio, overheating, or battery life. Maybe I'm just lucky but that's been my experience with every Apple laptop, and it has not been my experience with any Windows or Linux laptop.
Macs and OSX have real issues, sure, and there's no reason not to discuss them. But if you are experiencing frequent crashes, freezes, bugs, dead battery, etc. it's most likely because of something you've done, or maybe a faulty machine, than a conspiracy at Apple or a decline in their software QA. Just remember that you are by definition not the mass market Apple sells to. That mass market is very happy with Apple's products, as their sales and stock price continue to demonstrate.
Disclaimer: I worked for Apple more than 25 years ago, I have nothing to do with the company anymore except as a user of their products.
It's not link-baity in the sense that there's really anything wrong with using your own name for your blog (although try telling that to Mike Rowe), but it's link-baity in the context of HN where the domain shows up with equal importance to the headline and where the name "Wozniak" is very clearly associated with one and only one person.
I think the "flag" link is unfit for purpose and should be moved & changed. Firstly, it should appear on the comments page as well as the listing pages. Secondly, there should be multiple reasons for flagging (or a free-text, one-line reason field), so that it's at least possible to flag a misleading headline for alteration, without the possibility that the entire submission could be flag-killed.
I even agree with the poster about certain issues with OS X. It's particularly annoying as someone that recently switched away from Windows, after finally losing patience with Microsoft's similarly erosive programme of needless tinkering and randomly breaking stuff in lieu of tangible improvements. However, I don't come to HN to read opinions that agree with my existing world-view and pat myself on the back for being right (or at least, that's not my main reason).
I am however interested in opinions that are not just from "some guy" but which represent the defection of a key figure, such as "DHH: why I've finally given up on Ruby" or "RMS: why closed-source is better after all". I would definitely read those and would be equally disappointed if the author turned out to be an unrelated namesake.
Anyway that might be my Polish bias talking, but I don't see how many could have made that mistake.
Op wrote a good piece. It stands on its own unrelated to his surname.
EDIT: Holy down votes. Don't know what to say. I thought it was Woz, sosume. All I did was agree with the less-downvoted parent.
EDIT 2: Hive mind crit axotty for 9999.
It's the guys name. Using ones own name cannot be linkbaity or misleading.
I'm not accusing this Wozniak of malice, however.
I didn't look at the TLD I just clicked. I thought Woz was ditching OS X, I got excited. I was baited.
To clarify the stated fact: the name appears in the left margin on an iPad, just like on a desktop browser at normal width. However on an iPhone, it appears at the bottom of the page. It does the same thing if your browser window is set to less than 768px wide.
It's not hard to see how in those circumstances, someone could be misled into thinking that the article's author was Woz, especially if they didn't read all the way to the end.
This only got to the top of Hacker News because of this guy's last name.
I remember seeing a few posts here and there where people complained about performance degrading each time they upgraded OS X. My last 3 laptops had been Mac's (a White Macbook, then a Macbook Pro from 2010, then a Retina Macbook Pro from these days...) and while I feel 'satisfied' I also kind of noticed that performance is always worse, and somehow the more I upgrade, the more I feel like a pain the ass when I use that computer. Since there are no serious benchmarks on to this (I wonder why) I always thought that it was more of a 'feeling' than something real, or that maybe, sure there was a bit more lag but I'm running more 'advanced' software.
So yeah, that was me dreaming about how $4,000+ dollars on laptops had not gone down the drain when I paid a visit to an old friend. I asked my friend to borrow his computer because I needed to check an email and he did. Old friend's Macbook is one of these , that is, a laptop that wasn't even top of the line TEN YEARS AGO. I've opened and became surprised that battery still worked. "Dude, have you ever replaced the battery on this?" "Nope" "Weird, maybe he just doesn't use it too much"... Laptop woke up almost immediately, it had OS X Tiger running... Tiger... not even leopard.
And then I started using it... HOLY F* (excuse the expletives) I WISH MY F* RETINA MACBOOK WORKED LIKE THAT. Everything was smooth, Firefox opened like immediately (no SSD obv. but ok maybe it was already on RAM), I was able to finish my work and read a few articles and I felt really comfortable the whole time, and I want to clarify on this, I didn't felt that I was using a computer to do my work, that was kind of the magic that Apple products used to have (all of them, even iPods...). Now I'm always like, oh I gotta do this, click ... wait ... open this ... wait ... send this ... wait ... change this setting ... wait. Now I can state it for sure, Apple is really screwing it up on its software.
I haven't dropped Apple because fortunately for them, most other laptops feel even worst (at least they haven't screwed the trackpad yet...) but as soon as a well-made Linux notebook appears I'm out.
Are you using SSD or normal HDD?
- MacBook Pro fans -> rocket mode
- Mail app is not enough sync with my iPhone -> only 1 kind of flag available
- I'm working with dropbox, and when I want to use Pages on iCloud, I'm obliged to move my file in the special iCloud directory... so annoying
- When I edit some stuff on my Pages app, it's not possible for anybody to read/edit the file online (iCloud.com). Also the SaaS is really slow compare to Google Drive.
- Message app is not totally sync on my devices... I mean when I read a message on one device, it's still unread on an other...
- iTunes isn't so easy to use...
- safari isn't so cool compare to chrome or firefox
- right click "new file" DOESN'T EXIST
Then I realized Linux, Ubuntu are not so sync either and have many other problems and Windows isn't an option.
Do we have the choice after all ? I'm still waiting for the futur OS 11 to fulfill my queries...
Seriously though, you are so quick to discard Linux. What's wrong with tinkering a little with the OS to set it up initially? Seems that's that most current professional OS X users are expected to be doing as well. Might as well put that energy into something that doesn't break constantly without you knowing why.
I shudder a little when I read about people dismissing Linux because of Unity. You haven't gotten the full Linux tour until you've tried out a few WMs - it is painless, riskless and pretty fun. You'll find something that is close to your needs and then realise that you can actually customise EVERYTHING.
That WM was i3 for me, but my point isn't to spam my personal preference and/or preach: There's so much stuff out there; something will work for you. Make it your own.
Seems like a bit of a high bar you've set there for the author.